Memorial Day weekend is one that is filled with tradition.  Spending time with family, cookouts, the Indianapolis 500, and remembering loved ones.  We all should take this time to salute the brave men and women that fought to give us the freedom to enjoy the things we love.

Hollywood has given us hundreds of movies that pay tribute to some of these fine individuals, at home and abroad.  I love action movies, and a good war movie can be capivating as well as exciting.  So I've compiled my own list of my favorite war movies of all time.  You may agree or disagree with my choices, so feel free to comment, or include your own additions.  These are my top 5...

1) TORA, TORA, TORA...The ultimate Pearl Harbor movie.  Not only is it factual, but it includes much actual footage of the attack itself.  You really learn how the story unfolds and the emotions of both sides.

2) THE DIRTY DOZEN...I watch this one every time it comes on.  Lee Marvin trains and leads 12 prisoners on a raid of high-ranking German officers, with the promise of freedom to all that survive.  Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Charles Bronson, Fess Parker, Tell Savalas and more highlight the cast.

3) SAVING PRIVATE RYAN...The only modern film on my list.  Veterans hve said it's the most realistic enactment of the raid on Normandy.  Great story line and awesome battle scenes.

4) THE GREEN BERETS...No war movie list would be complete without the Duke!  John Wayne is excellent, and of all the military movies out there, this one makes me feel the most patriotic.

5) THE BLUE MAX...This one makes the list because of it's awesome flight footage.  George Peppard is a German pilot during WWI and all of the dogfights were filmed without the use of digital enhancements or tabletop models.  It's definately one you want to see.

Honorable Mention goes to Midway, Platoon, Memphis Belle, MASH, Heartbreak Ridge...heck, the list goes on and on.  So remember this weekend, or anytime for that matter, shake the hand of a veteran.  Especially if it's someone you've never met, and say thank you.  They're the reason for this holiday.  To all the vets and current members of the military...thank you, your contribution will never be forgotten.